Search This Blog

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

American Night Writer's Association Annual Conference

Last week I had the privilege of attending the American Night Writers Association Annual Conference named Write Here, Write Now.

I’d been looking forward to it for several months; partly because I love what I learn and who I meet, but also because I knew I was that much closer to the end of my pregnancy.

The weekend got off to a great start when my publicist and dear friend, Doug Johnston and his colleague Anne Anderson met me for lunch. Now keep in mind, I’m a sophisticated woman, writing books and trying to save the world and all, but there’s something so very humbling about being 8 ½ months pregnant and trying to be the least bit impressive in a professional setting. It just doesn’t work. There’s nothing suave or cutting edge about a woman carrying an extra 25 pounds who’s trying to look like she’s comfortable and cool. Either way, I loved spending time with them and we had a wonderful lunch discussing books, publicity, writing and Joe’s homemade root beer.

Doug recently lost 60 pounds and wanted to look extra sharp while speaking to a hundred or so writers at the ANWA conference. It’s no secret I love to shop, so I offered to take him to my favorite shopping hole for some new clothes. We hit T.J. Maxx and scored. Doug made a few suggestions that Anne and I entertained.

Eventually a Michael Kors tie, DKNY shirt and Perry Ellis pants won out.

Doug has a gift. He makes things happen. He believes in his abilities and those of his clients. Working with him has greatly blessed my life and I’m a much better writer because of his influence, plus we both think we have ADD and that makes us very cool. J

The conference started Saturday morning and I arrived a bit late (pregnant women have that luxury). Throughout the day, I met so many wonderful people.

April Lynn Pike, author of New York Times best-selling book, Wings, gave a great lecture on the highs and lows of writing.

Being balanced and centered keeps a writer focused. She displayed a pattern of stairs, each representing different emotional stages a writer enters. I totally related and was intrigued by her story to publication. It had a happy ending, but my goodness, the things writers go through to get published. It’s a bit frightening.

Nancy Turner, author of the New York Times best-selling book These Is My Words, spoke on common mistakes writers make and how to keep our writings sacred. She discussed common spelling and grammar errors and gave ideas to overcome writers block.

J. Scott Savage, author of The Farworld Series, was dynamic and educational. The audience couldn’t get enough of his advice and sense of humor. He spoke mainly on writing a query letter and how to approach agents and publishers.

ANWA was started by author Marsha Ward in 1986 to assist and develop the talents of LDS (Mormon) women writers. It’s a niche that I and hundreds of other women fit into.

Seeing author Janette Rallison was a treat for sure.

My mom, Sarah Hinze, author of Coming From the Light and Life Before Life and my sister-in-law Heather also attended.

Meeting Cindy William, author of Chase McKay Didn’t Get Up Today.

I had a great time and met so many new friends. Thanks for all who attended and Doug, I’ll see you next year at Joe’s.


  1. I wanted to say Congratulations on your ability to write.. and send good vibes for your Book to be published!!
    I'll return to read more.....

  2. Laura, It was a pleasure to meet you and Heather. You do look great! I wish you a speedy delivery and great joy with your up and coming new baby!

  3. Great recap of the conference, Laura. It really was a great experience. Thanks for the pictures and your comments!

  4. Hi Laura:

    I work at ASU and thought of you when I saw this event later this month:

    Our Visions, Our Voices: What it Means to be a 21st c. Mormon Woman

    Tuesday, Mar. 23, 7 p.m.
    College of Liberal Arts and Sciences: Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies: Religious Studies
    Coor Hall 170, Tempe campus

    What place do "Mormon" women writers have in the 21st century? Join poets, novelists, memoirists and non-fiction authors from California to Canada to explore the question in Our Visions, Our Voices: The Mormon Women's Literary Tour to university campuses throughout the Southwest.

    The ground-breaking project brings women writers face-to-face with audiences that recognize the need for a vibrant writing culture beyond the bounds of orthodoxy. Project founders Dr. Joanna Brooks of San Diego State University and Dr. Holly Welker of Salt Lake City have tapped into a range of denominations that share historic roots with the greater Mormon and Latter Day Saint traditions. “This is about creating common ground,” says Brooks, a professor of English. “We want to create a space for women writers to share their art and reflect on what it might mean to be a Mormon woman in the 21st century.”

    Audio will be podcast at Women writers who want to contribute to the tour’s archive at the University ofUtah Marriot Special Collections Library can bring their own writings to the readings.

  5. It was a great time...and what a great review! It was great to meet you and - I don't care what you say... You looked professional and amazing!